The first new Sac County Barn Quilts of 2006 started showing up on historic barns and corncribs around the area last week. While volunteers have been working for several months to design, mark and paint the new quilt blocks, the results of their efforts are just now becoming part of the rural landscape.
The Sac County Barn Quilt Committee set a goal to place at least 27 new barn quilts this year, bringing the total in the area to 50 or more. Early in the year, the Sac City area quilters selected about 40 quilt patterns and designed color schemes for each one. Then, the Barn Quilt Committee started contacting property owners about their interests in placing a quilt block on their barns or corncribs. The committee was especially interested in placing barn quilts on the major highways through Sac County, as well as making sure that each township in the county had at least one barn quilt. The process of matching patterns with volunteer painters and barns began, and the Sac County REC started installing the barn quilts last week.
The first barn quilt of 2006 went up on the historic red barn of Jim and Mary Dowling at 903 South 5th Street, at the edge of Sac City.
The quilt, called "Dove at the Window", was painted by Molly and Abby Hesnard. Another barn quilt was placed on the Highway 71 barn of Richard and Arlene LaGrange, north and east of Odebolt. Painted by Jane Hogue and the Green Team garden club at the Prairie Pedlar, the pattern is "Morning Star". Both of these barn quilts were installed by volunteers on the sides of the barns.
Eleven more barn quilts were installed by the Sac County REC crew on April 13 and 14. The "Crow's Nest" barn quilt was painted by LeRoy Nelson. Travelers along Highway 20 can spot this barn quilt on the corncrib east of Sac City, owned by Jim and Ann Galbraith. In rural Early, Neil and Anita Mason's beautiful barn boasts a new barn quilt painted by their family. The pattern is "Blazing Star". The Tim Huser family planned and pulled off a great Mother's Day surprise for Marti Huser by designing, marking and painting a barn quilt for her. Called "My Mother's Star", the barn quilt graces the peak of the large barn on Evergreen Farm, north of Sac City.
The REC trucks rolled out early on April 14 and installed eight barn quilts in the southern part of the county. The Kroeger family has a new barn quilt on their Mace Avenue farm. The pattern is "Night and Day" and it was painted by Wall Lake 4-H members belonging to the Viola Visions and Wall Lake Bandits Clubs. Although Kim and Wes Drost's barn received some storm damage recently, it is still standing on Mace Avenue, near Wall Lake. The Drost family painted the "Next Door Neighbor" barn quilt that now decorates the barn. Another barn quilt painted by the Prairie Pedlar garden club appears on the Kenneth and Jerilyn Ekstrom barn, which is on 360th Street, east of Odebolt. The pattern is "Rising Sun".
The Wall Lake 4-H Clubs received two special grants through the state 4-H office to paint barn quilts. They chose three locations and painted barn quilts for them.
With the 13 new locations, Sac County now has 36 barn quilts scattered around the county. Shirley Phillips, SETD director, hosted a group of Iowa Welcome Center staff on a tour to view some of the barn quilts. Several more tours are scheduled. Heartland Marketing Group in Early has worked on a new promotional brochure for the Sac County Barn Quilts, and a new map showing all the existing and planned barn quilt locations, is also in the production process. More barns will be quilted in May. The Barn Quilt Committee hopes to have all 50 barn quilts completed by Memorial Day weekend.